Michael McIntyre and Steven Murphy of Carleton University and Bernard Funston of Northern Canada Consulting in Ottawa, and Canada, suggest that the resources required to sustain human life are being degraded perhaps to the point of no return. They suggest that now is the time for collective action; we must take a long, hard look at the notion of economic growth and development, and re-examine humanity’s choices that encompass a fundamental shift in how we measure economic success, productivity and human happiness.
Given the West’s propensity to measure success in terms of economic growth, we seem to have produced a political environment that has a zero-tolerance for slow or negative growth. We somehow imagine that only with growth will our world, our nations, and our citizens be happy. And yet rising pollution levels, environmental degradation, resource depletion, industrial disasters and the failure of financiers seems to be plunging us into a quagmire of misery. If we consider the Earth to be a closed system in terms of materials (rather than energy), then thermodynamically endless growth was always destined to be something of an oxymoron.
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